Should Marijuana Be Legalized?

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Cannabis, otherwise known as Marijuana, is illegal in most parts of the world including the United States. However, the drug is now gaining acceptance worldwide as evidenced by the number of countries that are reducing or lifting penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. In the United States, there are a growing number of Americans demanding that marijuana be legalized medically. Although the federal government is presently opposed to legalizing marijuana, its legal status is changing on a state level. California was the first state to legalize the use of medical marijuana. “California Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, was put forth to California voters on November 5, 1996” (Introduction to Medical Marijuana: Current Controversies). The proposition passed and was enacted in order to allow patients and their caregivers the right to possess and grow marijuana for their own medical use with a doctor’s prescription. There were strong medical opinions arguing for the proposition, “. . . . doctors Richard J. Cohen and Ivan Silverberg and registered nurse Anna T. Boyce argued, ‘Today, physicians are allowed to prescribe powerful drugs like morphine and codeine. It doesn’t make sense that they cannot prescribe marijuana, too’ ” (Introduction to Medical Marijuana: Current Controversies). Seeing as this was a reasonable and logical argument, the proposition should have passed with an overwhelming majority especially in light of the many

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